La Castañeda Insane Asylum
Narratives of Pain in Modern Mexico
Published by: University of Oklahoma Press
Imprint: University of Oklahoma Press
280 Pages | 6 x 9 | 10 b&w illus.
Author Cristina Rivera Garza brings the history of La Castañeda asylum to life as inmates, doctors, relatives, and others engage in dialogues on insanity. They discuss faith, sex, poverty, loss, resentment, envy, love, and politics. Doctors translated what they heard into the emerging language of psychiatry, while inmates conveyed their personal experiences and private histories through expressions of mental suffering. The language of pain—physical and spiritual, mild to excruciating—allowed patients to detail the sources and consequences of their misfortune.
Available now for the first time in English, this edition contains updated sources and features a note by the translator, Laura Kanost.
“The author not only takes us inside the complexities of the asylum and its social context but also gives a present identity to individuals who were never able to have it in the past, making them unforgettable for the reader.”---Claudia Guillén in Revista de la Universidad de México